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Old 12-10-07, 09:30 PM   #1
dlh1999
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Slight issue with new MTB purchase

I'll try to make this as thorough and to the point as possible.

I just brought home my '07 Kona Caldera. Before I purchased it a few weeks ago, I rode it just briefly, and compared the size to my old bike. When I got it home, I compared the 2 bikes, and noticed that the Kona sits up quite a bit higher in the front (due to the suspension, I suppose)...not a big deal. It still feels comfortable and I'm loving it.

But here's my dilemma. I'm about 5'10" or so, and realized that my standing clearance isn't as much as I'd like (however, I tested it without shoes when I got home). The bike has a 20" frame, and they have an 18" Caldera still at the shop. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I switched bikes to get the 18", but initially the 20" felt much better than the 18".

Anyone have any insight on what may be the best option? If I went back for the 18", I would be afraid that it may feel too small, and would at least need a new stem (which might help the feeling of 'too small'). However, if I stay with the 20", I'm afraid it may be a hair too large...and they didn't have a 19". It might be a different story once the bike is off of carpet (haven't ridden it since I got it home).

I know that I need a bike that I feel comfortable on, and I'm sure some folks will say "You should have tested it more before buying it"...but like I said it felt great when I was testing it in the store...I'm just noticing a bit more now that it's home. It could also be one of those things that I just need to get more comfortable with it, as I haven't had a chance to really try it out.

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated!
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Old 12-10-07, 10:03 PM   #2
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I am 5'9" and ride an 18" Trek frame. I like the standover height and think a 20" frame would be way to tight for me.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:06 PM   #3
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I am 6'1" and had some similar issues with my Raleigh M50 DX. For some reason, even-inch frames put me in the grey area. My Giant is a 21" and fits perfectly, but the Raleighs were 20" and 22". I went with the smaller, and it has worked out fine. I think I can adapt things like seatpost and handlebars better.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:21 PM   #4
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I am 5'10" with a 30" inseam and I ride 17" and 18" MTB's. A 20" would be way too big. What's your inseam?

Yes, you'll be able to adjust your ergonomics on the bike with stem, bars, seat position, seatpost type, etc.. My spin on the whole 'fit' thing is that it is a lot easier to fit (with component adjustments) on a slightly small frame than it is on one slightly large. I say go with the 18".

Toddorado said it well, on the smaller you can adapt easier.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:27 PM   #5
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Buy the bike by the toptube fit, not the seattube fit. If you feel you can get the right fit (as in, not too cramped length-wise without resorting to silly long stems) with the smaller frame size, go for it.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the feedback...my inseam is about 33" and figured I'd be safe with the 20" frame. Now I'm worried that they might not have the 18" afterall, which is a bummer because I'm kinda set on the Calderas...but I've decided to head back in the morning and see what they have...

Thanks again!

Last edited by dlh1999; 12-10-07 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 12-11-07, 12:43 PM   #7
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Well, I just got back from the bike shop, and they still had the 18" Caldera. So I had them put a Ritchey stem on it that was slightly longer, and the bike fits perfectly. Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 12-11-07, 09:01 PM   #8
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i'm ~ 5'10 and ride a 17 inch Marin and a 19.5 inch Trek ... oddly enough both seat tubes measure 18.5 inches center to top.. just saying some campanies size their bikes differently..

either size would probably work. the 18 might be a better fit or maybe try a different model.
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Old 12-12-07, 05:53 AM   #9
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The 18" is a PERFECT fit...put a slightly longer stem on it, and couldn't ask for a better fit. It is funny that it's almost identical to the Raleigh I have...
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Old 12-12-07, 10:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dlh1999 View Post
The 18" is a PERFECT fit...put a slightly longer stem on it, and couldn't ask for a better fit. It is funny that it's almost identical to the Raleigh I have...
That's great, sounds like you're pretty juiced about it.

When my bike fits well and I am on a good ride/flow, I see God.
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Old 12-12-07, 11:44 AM   #11
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I'm 5'2" and ride a 22" bike. I think 18" is way too small.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:54 PM   #12
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I'm 5'2" and ride a 22" bike. I think 18" is way too small.
NO WAY! How do even stradle the bike?

Tim
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Old 12-12-07, 03:41 PM   #13
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I'm 5'2" and ride a 22" bike. I think 18" is way too small.
That's a joke, right?
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Old 12-12-07, 03:48 PM   #14
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That's a joke, right?
The only thing junkyard does not joke about is the serious stuff.
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